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Mule-assisted Classic

Highlights

  • Enjoy a 3-day hiking/camping tour with the comfort of carrying a light daypack
  • Hike the most famous trails in the Grand Canyon (South Kaibab and Bright Angel)
  • Spend 2 nights near the Colorado River and Phantom Ranch
  • Enjoy a layover day for hiking, exploring, and/or relaxing in the Canyon
  • Traverse 1.5 miles of the Colorado River
  • Hike past the desert oasis of Indian Garden
  • Enjoy our exceptional backcountry cuisine and expert guides!


Description

Fantastic for families, people with limited time, and for a broad range of ages and abilities, the Mule-assisted Grand Canyon Classic Tour (100% a hiking trip) is an opportunity to experience the fullness of the Grand Canyon with a higher level of comfort than a backpacking trip. You get to fully soak up the beauty as you hike with just a small, top-of-the-line backpack we provide, while mules carry your gear down and back up.

Enjoy starting at the popular South Rim, hiking classic trails with quintessential views, visiting historic Phantom Ranch, camping at breathtaking Bright Angel Campground, spending time at the Colorado River, and hiking by ancient Indian Gardens. You can just relax and enjoy yourself, as we provide all the gear, tasty meals, and a professional guide. This hike is an all-around taste of the Grand Canyon in a relatively short amount of time - don't miss it!

Please note: Due to Grand Canyon's permit system, it's beneficial to register 5 months or more in advance, and you'll receive a 5% discount for doing so. Click here to read more about permits.


 

Photos of this Trip

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to the South Kaibab TH: 15 minutes
Hiking Mileage: 7.5 miles
Elevation Loss: 4,800 feet


This classic Grand Canyon hiking tour begins on the South Kaibab Trail, a deservedly popular hiking route that offers spectacular views both up and down the Grand Canyon. It’s 7.5 miles of moderate hiking to the Bright Angel Campground, our destination and camp for the first night. This camp is one of the most charming in the Park as it’s situated at the bottom of the Grand Canyon near the Colorado River and adjacent to Bright Angel Creek. Campsites are shaded by tall, spreading cottonwoods, piped drinking water is available, and nearby Phantom Ranch offers a snack bar and ranger-led evening interpretive programs.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 0-7 miles day hiking
Elevation Gain/Loss: < 1,000 feet


This is a layover day and a chance to relax and absorb the magic of the Canyon or go on a memorable day hike. Remember your swimsuit for a soak in the cool waters of Bright Angel Creek, catch up on that book you’ve been wanting to read, spend quality time with your family exploring the area, or join your guide for a customized day hike. Hiking options include an off-trail trek up a side canyon with cascades, pools and oases; a breathtaking hike paralleling the Colorado River a thousand feet above it on the Clear Creek Trail; or a relaxing walk on the River Trail.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 9.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,500 feet


An early breakfast will precede a long but beautiful hike out as we make our ascent to the Grand Canyon's South Rim via the Bright Angel Trail. It’s 9.3 miles from camp to the Rim, where we’ll look back over our hike and reflect on the beauty of this place and our accomplishment in achieving something that few have had the privilege of experiencing.


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles and Microspike Crampons if necessary
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Grand Canyon hiking guide
  • National park camping permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • A lightweight stuff sack for your belongings during mule transport
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • National park entrance fees
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are three 1-liter water bottles per person, a lightweight stuff sack for your belongings that will be going with the mules, and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 48 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

Unless we tell you otherwise, you will meet your guide and group in the lobby of the Bright Angel Lodge at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon at 5:00 PM the evening before your trip begins. For Private Mule-assisted Classic Grand Canyon Tours your guide can meet you at your hotel in Tusayan or at the South Rim at an agreed upon time.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 4 and 7 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this is 5 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 9 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in the Grand Canyon

The weather in the Grand Canyon varies tremendously from the rim to the canyon floor, with as much as a 30 degree Fahrenheit difference. For this reason, the Canyon is truly a year-round hiking destination. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). Read below for average high and low temperatures at the South Rim and the Canyon bottom:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
         
 
Month
South Rim
Canyon Bottom
 
 
hi
low
hi
low
 
 
Dec-Feb
41°
18°
60°
38°
 
 
March
51°
25°
71°
48°
 
 
April
60°
32°
82°
56°
 
 
May
70°
39°
92°
63°
 
 
Jun-Aug
82°
53°
108°
75°
 
 
September
76°
47°
97°
69°
 
 
October
65°
36°
84°
58°
 
 
November
52°
27°
68°
46°